Victory against Thailand took India to their eighth consecutive Asian Cup final – four in ODI and T20 formats. Prior to 2012, the tournament was a 50 over-a-side affair.
We always expected the semi-final against Thailand to be a cakewalk for India and it turned out to be the case.
India posted 148 for six after being sent to bat, then held Thailand to 74 for 9 in the lopsided contest.
Chasing the target, Thailand were never in the hunt as they lost wickets at regular intervals.
The Thai women, however, fared much better than in their previous outing against India in the league stage, where they were crushed by nine wickets.
𝐈𝐍𝐓𝐎 𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝐅𝐈𝐍𝐀𝐋 🙌 🙌A superb bowling performance from #TeamIndia to beat Thailand by 7️⃣4️⃣ runs in the… https://t.co/0FKBXtEVx7
— BCCI Women (@BCCIWomen) 1665640697000
In that match, the Indians knocked out Thailand for just 37 runs in 15.1 overs and then chased the target with blissful ease.
On Thursday, the Thais gave a better count of themselves with the bat despite being reduced to 21 for 4 in the round of 16.
Deepti Sharma (3/7) did most of the damage with his out-turn, picking up the first three Thai wickets – Nannapat Koncharoenkai, Natthakan Chantham and Sornnarin Tippoch – in consecutive overs.
Middle pacemaker Renuka Singh (1/6) then cleared Chanida Sutthiruang as Thailand’s pursuit crumbled.
Captain Naruemol Chaiwai (21) and Nattaya Boochatham (21) showed some resistance with the bat with a stand of 42 runs for the fifth wicket, but the requested rate was too high. In fact, they were the only two Thai batters to record double-digit scores.
Once the duo left, the Indian bowlers crossed the lineup of lower-order Thai batters.
Rajeshwari Gayakwad (2/10), Shafali Verma (1/10) and Sneh Rana (1/16) were the other wicket takers for India.
Earlier on as a guest at bat, Shafali Verma was at her destructive best, scoring India’s best with a 42 from 28 with five boundary assists and a hit over the fence.
4⃣2⃣ Runs1⃣ Wicket1⃣ Catch@TheShafaliVerma wins player of the match as #TeamIndia defeats Thailand. 👍 👍Score… https://t.co/uD1qYOyRhy
— BCCI Women (@BCCIWomen) 1665642081000
With the vice-captain Smriti MandhanaVerma shared 38 runs in 4.3 overs before the first hit a low, full throw from Phannita Maya straight to Onnicha Kamchomphu halfway through.
Verma continued her batting attack, but was the next batter to go, mistaking Sornnarin Tippoch’s in-flight delivery to Thai skipper Naruemol Chaiwai at short midwicket.
Most of the dismissals were giveaways to Thai bowlers, as Indian batters were guilty of giving away their wickets after starting.
Jemimah Rodrigues (27) was the next to loft a right to Rosenan Kano term off Thipatcha Putthawong.
Tippoch then had two wickets in successive overs to reduce India to 132 for 5 in the 18th over.
First she caught the wicket keeper Richa Gosh plumb past the wicket and a later got skipper Harmanpreet Kaur’s big wicket as the batter tried to clear the boundary of coverage.
Harmanpreet, who returned to lead the team after missing two games with a glitch, looked in good shape and laced his 30-36 run with four hits at the fence.
Towards the end, Pooja Vastrakar hit a quick 13-ball 17 with the help of a six to bring India close to the 150-point mark.
Sornnarin Tippoch was the best bowler in Thailand with numbers of 3/24.
India had made three changes from their last game playing eleven with Harmanpreet, Renuka Thakur and Radha Yadav in place of S Meghana, Meghna Singh and Kiran Navgire.